LAS CRUCES, N.M. – After winning the Friday night contest to UTRGV, the NM State baseball team lost the series after falling on Saturday and taking a 12-6 loss on Sunday. The Aggies saw home runs from Christian Perez and Kevin Jimenez, but the 14-hit effort was not enough.
Perez launched a two-run blast in the bottom of the first inning to give the Aggies a 2-0 lead but the Vaqueros would jump in front with five runs in the second inning and never looked back. After the Aggies led by two, UTRGV scored nine unanswered runs to take a 9-2 advantage.
NM State got a run back in the bottom of the fifth inning when Nick Gore singled through the left side, scoring Jimenez. Following the single, the Vaqueros would plate one run in each of the sixth, seventh, and eighth innings.
Following a scoreless ninth inning by Sakemi Sato, the Aggies had work to do in the bottom of the ninth. After back-to-back singles by Romeo Ballesteros and Mitch Namie to open the frame, Jimenez launched a home run to right-center to cut the deficit to six. After two outs, Keith Jones II kept the dream alive with a single and his seventh stolen base of the season but he was stranded when a groundout to second base ended the ballgame.
Next weekend, NM State hits the road for three games against Sam Houston, beginning on Friday, March 31.
· Kevin Jimenez recorded his 200th career hit and 49th career double on Sunday
· Entering the weekend, only 33 active players in Division I baseball have notched 300 career hits.
· Darius Garcia earned the loss on Sunday – His first of the season.
· Eight of the nine players in the NM State starting lineup recorded a base hit on Sunday.
· Five Aggies recorded multi-hit games as NM State outhit UTRGV 14-12.
· The Aggies used six different pitched in Sunday’s finale with Sakemi Sato working 1.1 scoreless innings.
· Working 2.0 innings, the outing marked the first time in nine appearances that Noah Estrella did not record a strikeout.
· NM State pitchers issued nine free passes on Sunday